1: I am safe. Yes, I live in Turkey, and no, I haven’t heard a single gun, bomb, or anything else. Once I saw a police truck, but then I saw those all over Taiwan too, so no big deal there. I live in the same city as the Incirlik Air Base. I know people that live and work on the Base. They all assure me that we’re safe, there’s no craziness, etc.
I like knowing people there because even if I didn’t feel completely confident (and I do) that my school would keep me posted, I know the people on the Base will.
The US news media likes to play up fears and keep everyone second guessing everyone different. It’s a money making corporation that makes millions by keeping you worried.
But I’m fine. I will let you know if that changes, don’t worry. I have no need to be a hero, I will get the heck out of Dodge pretty damn quick if it becomes unsafe.
BUT I AM FINE. It’s actually pretty cool here. The people are friendly, caring, and not at all like what I thought. Tank tops, shorts, mini skits, high heels, flip flops, one shoulder tops, it’s all here. In fact I probably dress more conservatively than a lot of women here. Yes, there are lots of women who wear the head coverings and long skirts, and there are women dressed from top to bottom in all black with nothing but their eyes showing, but they all get along and talk to each other just fine.
I went to a pre-wedding shower and it was SO cool. I got a henna dot and got to be part of the dance around the couple!!
The food is great, the weather is great. The people are great. I haven’t explored much yet, but I plan to. I really love the teachers I work with.
2: I am not doing well at my new job. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had.
Not because of Turkey, but because the school was created without any planning into what it takes to run a school. Not the American program I am hired through, the actual school here. The other 4 English Language teachers and I are having to create, will have to train, and then institute an entire protocol/ behavior/ emergency plan from scratch while trying to teach in this madness. The entire experience is Crisis Management at its most extreme level on every front, at every turn.
Not one part of the needs for how a school should run, how to bring in foreign teachers, how to manage behavior, how to have after-school programs, or anything was planned. It was literally taking a building, hiring teachers, soliciting students and then saying, “Now go”. The owners put more planning into creating cut-out ceiling decorations for the school lobby than they put into creating any plan, let alone a comprehensive plan for running a school. (Virginia, I’m already writing an email to you for help! Expect it soon)
Though the children are in absolute chaotic states of being, much due to the candy, cookies, chocolate, cotton candy, and soda they are encouraged to buy every 40 minutes of school time, I cannot blame them. I have to deal with them, but this is a systemic problem from the TOP down.
We, the teachers (all the teachers, not just the foreign teachers), are having to deal with: the end result of sugared-up kids with no boundaries or rules, expectations for duties without any planning, materials, or support, and the bureaucratic needs of getting work visas, health insurance, phones, etc. with minimal protocol or communication on what needs to get done or how to do it and translation issues.
I need help, we are only teachers, but we need an entire plan for a K-12 school. ANYONE reading this that has good info and insight into what we may need to create this plan PLEASE email me!! firstname.lastname@example.org
3: Because of the madness at school and because of the difficult last 6 weeks of my personal life, my health is not good. Well, ok, actually my overall health is stellar. I just got a full two thumbs up at the doctor on the hormones, girlie parts, blood work, disease status, etc. It’s the weight loss, pain, hives, and hair loss I’m worried about. And it’s all due to stress.
Let me give you a visual here so you can understand what I mean.
This is the belt I bought just before coming to Turkey.
22 cm people!!!!! This is THE most unhealthy weight I’ve been at in close to 15 years. I’m down to 51 kg. I eat! I am NOT trying to do this. I am NOT starving myself, I am not eating low calorie, I am really really not doing this on purpose. I don’t like it.
And it pisses me off to no end that I keep getting complimented on how “pretty” I am because I’m so damn skinny!!!!!!! THIS SKINNY IS NOT PRETTY! This is UNHEALTHY.
I am working on gaining weight. I need about 5 kg more on me. I know this. I’m working on it. Don’t get too nuts trying to tell me to eat more. I am very aware of the necessity to get this under control and I’m really trying.
4: I miss my children so much. I miss them. I am so very proud of them. My Sweetpea is happy, in love and doing great in school! My Monkey is flying and getting all pilot-y. I am magnificently proud of all he’s doing! My Boomeister is developing his goals and studying and working and great! I miss them. I want to hug them every minute. I’m grateful for being here and doing the travelling I want to do and for being able to be a teacher. I am. I love it. And I love that they are so supportive of me and know that I love them with all my being. But I miss them and it’s difficult to be away from them. I can’t write more about that because I will turn into a weeping mess. But how much I love them, support them, and miss them is bigger than any blog could ever hold. I LOVE you!!
5: I want to be able to say I’m finally ok with all the stupid Sven stuff. I keep telling myself, it’s been over a month now get over it. Then I tell myself, it’s only been about a month, you’re doing fine.
I am doing fine. It’s not really him I’m struggling with. I’m actually having a more difficult time with the fact that I had let myself take his daughter into my heart and I am mourning that loss. And now, for the first time since my divorce, I actually do want to find someone to spend the rest of my life with.
That’s the real struggle. I am still completely happy with me all by myself, don’t get me wrong here. But I let the idea of having someone to share all this with become an interest, a desire, rather than a hindrance. And now I want it. Not with him. But with someone.
6: I miss my friends in Taiwan. All of them, even the ones I feel judged me harshly, wrongly. I miss the weekends, the scooter rides, the chit-chatting after work, and yes, even taking the trash out with Jai. I miss Barfly and PLUR. I miss my co-teachers and co-workers. I miss hanging out with Jordan, Trent, and Katie. I miss darts and drunk ballet. I miss Club 7 with Ian and chicken with Penny. I miss the Spanish Pavilion and the Studio. I miss sight-seeing and eating until I hurt with Tim, Wendy, William, Jordan, and their family.
I like the new friends I’m making here and we are becoming another little family, but that doesn’t change how much I miss my Taiwan family.
And that folks, is my Reality Check. It’s where I’m at.